The role of residential contractors, who install heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning systems in homes and condominiums, is becoming more complex. No longer just the people who install furnaces, these contractors must be knowledgeable not only about heating, but also about ventilation, humidification, cooling, and indoor air quality, And, they must be able to design systems specifically suited to each project.

Residential contractors must be able to integrate the latest technologies such as high-velocity systems, in-Hoor radiant heating, and combination systems. That is why the Toronto-Residential Air Handling Group is now known as the Residential Heating Ventilation Contractors Association (RHVCA).

The board of directors felt a rebranding was necessary, to better reflect the scope of workof today's heating contractors. "It's not just going out and putting in a furnace, and hanging ductwork like the old days. A lot of people don't understand that it's a lot more involved in the process of selecting a proper heating system," says RHVCA Executive Director Domenic di Battista.

Though its name is new, the group's history dates back to September 4, 1968, when the Residential Sheet Metal Contractors Association was incorporated as a non-profit trade association, to represent nine member contractors in any matters pertaining to the residential sheet metal industry handling, erection, installation, dismantling, re­conditioning, adjustment, alteration, repairing, and servicing of sheet metal work, and of equipment such as controls, insulation, piping and refrigeration associated with ventilarion, air conditioning. and warm air heating.

Members of the association employ unionized workers represented by Sheet Metal Workers International Association, Local Union No. 285. The association's mandate is to represent its members in any matters pertaining to the residential sheer metal contracting industry, and when necessary to negotiate on their behalf as may appear to be in the best interest of the industry; and to represent members in any matter pertain­ing to the building and construction industry.

By hiring RHVCA members, builders are assured they are getting professionals with the proper training, certification, and expertise in designing and in­stalling systems. The member contractors will take into consideration factors like heat grines and heat loss, dir infiltration and building envelope when designing a heating system.

Member contractors involved in the highrise sector are governed by engineered mechanical drawings and specifications. They must ensure that systems they install will perform in accordance with the design criteria. They work alongside other trades and co-ordinate their installation to ensure the components fit in the allowed mechanical space.

RHVCA members are governed by the Ontario Building Code, local municipal bylaws. the Technical Standards and Safety Aurhority (TSSA), Tarion, the Sheet Metal and Air Conditioning Contractors National Association (SMACNA), and the American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE).

The association is an accredited bargaining agent under the Labour Relations Act, permitted to negotiate on behalf of mem­bers' in ways that arc reflect the best interests of me resi­dential sheet metal contracting industry. It also represents members of the association in matters pertaining to the building and construction industry in its accredited areas in the Province of Ontario.




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